Our picks for LLC formation services

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FAQs

What is needed to form an LLC in Louisiana?

With this type of business, you need an idea and $100 to file Articles of Organization, which are business formation documents, with the state. You’ll also need to obtain business licenses.

Who can be a registered agent?

Any adult with a physical address (not a P.O. box) in the state can be a registered agent. The agent must also be willing and available to accept official documents during regular business hours.

Is it common for an owner to serve as a registered agent?

Yes. Business owners often serve as their own registered agent.

Do I need an operating agreement for my LLC?

You should have an operating agreement for your LLC, but it’s not required. You aren’t asked to file the agreement with the state.

How do you write an operating agreement for Louisiana?

You can find templates online that you can customize. Operating agreements aren’t necessarily state-specific; they’re company-specific.

When is the Louisiana Annual Report due?

Annual Reports are due during a company’s anniversary month. If a business was established in March of 2018, the Annual Report is due every year by the end of March.

How long does it take for an LLC to be approved?

Louisiana gives owners the option to pay for expedited reviews. For example, you can pay $50 to have it processed within two to four hours. If you don’t want to pay the additional fee, the approval process can take up to five days.

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When starting a new company, choosing a business entity is the most important decision that the founders must make. For most businesses with more than one founding member, forming as an LLC is often the best option for a number of reasons.

An LLC is an uncomplicated business structure that affords business owners legal protection by separating personal assets from business debts. Moreover, LLCs often enjoy a lower tax rate than corporations. Nevertheless, creating an LLC can get complicated depending on where you are based, with the formation process, filing fees, and continuing legal obligations differing from state to state.

Starting an LLC in Louisiana can be tricky as individual state parishes have different filing requirements. However, by following the procedure closely, you shouldn’t run into any serious issues.

Starting an LLC in Louisiana step-by-step

1. Select a name for your Louisiana LLC

Follow naming requirements

There are 2 major guidelines to follow when naming your LLC in the state of Louisiana:

  1. An LLC’s name must be distinguishable from the names of existing businesses on file with the Louisiana Secretary of State.
  2. An LLC’s name must contain one of the following phrases or abbreviations: “Limited Liability Company”, “L.L.C.”, or “L.C.”

Need help coming up with a business name? Check out our free business name generator.

Reserve your LLC name with the Louisiana Secretary of State

After selecting a name for your LLC, you should reserve it with the Louisiana Secretary of State in order to avoid the possibility of another business entity using the name before you are ready to file your LLC’s Articles of Organization.

First, confirm that the name is available for use in the state with the Louisiana Secretary of State’s Search for Louisiana Business Filings tool. If the name is available, you can reserve it for up to 60 days by filing a Name Reservation form online or by postal mail.

The name reservation filing fee is $25 which can be paid by credit card, check, or money order.

If the name is already in use, you won’t be able to use it. Like most states, Louisiana won’t allow two businesses to have the same name. You can’t “tweak” a name by making it plural, for example, to make it different either. Louisiana law says all business names must be distinguishable. If you submit your formation documents with a duplicate name, it will be rejected by the state.

2. Designate a registered agent

As in every U.S. state, forming an LLC in Louisiana requires the appointment of a registered agent service to handle state and federal legal documents and service of process on the business’s behalf.

The registered agent must either be a state resident or business entity with a street address in Louisiana OR if the individual or business is based out-of-state, they must have a business office in Louisiana.

Our picks of the best registered agent services

  • Northwest Registered Agent: Starting a business requires a lot of state-mandated paperwork, which can be confusing for new business owners. Northwest offers business services that can help entrepreneurs find the right documentation, fill it out, and file it on time with the right government agency. In addition to helping you set up an LLC, Northwest has a host of additional services, like registered agent services, that new owners will find useful too.
  • ZenBusiness: There’s no need to stress about filing paperwork when you work with ZenBusiness. This company offers a great variety of LLC services, the focus of which is to ensure your business is set up correctly with the proper paperwork filled out and delivered to the right branch of your state government. Of course, ZenBusiness does charge for their services, but customers say they get the most bang for their buck.
  • Harbor Compliance is a great fit for organizations that register in multiple states and for those who don’t want to pay excessive service fees. With their network and electronic document delivery, they help ensure your business never misses a legal notification.

FAQs

What is needed to form an LLC in Louisiana?

With this type of business, you need an idea and $100 to file Articles of Organization, which are business formation documents, with the state. You’ll also need to obtain business licenses.

Who can be a registered agent?

Any adult with a physical address (not a P.O. box) in the state can be a registered agent. The agent must also be willing and available to accept official documents during regular business hours.

Is it common for an owner to serve as a registered agent?

Yes. Business owners often serve as their own registered agent.

Do I need an operating agreement for my LLC?

You should have an operating agreement for your LLC, but it’s not required. You aren’t asked to file the agreement with the state.

How do you write an operating agreement for Louisiana?

You can find templates online that you can customize. Operating agreements aren’t necessarily state-specific; they’re company-specific.

When is the Louisiana Annual Report due?

Annual Reports are due during a company’s anniversary month. If a business was established in March of 2018, the Annual Report is due every year by the end of March.

How long does it take for an LLC to be approved?

Louisiana gives owners the option to pay for expedited reviews. For example, you can pay $50 to have it processed within two to four hours. If you don’t want to pay the additional fee, the approval process can take up to five days.

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3. File Articles of Organization

An LLC is formed in Louisiana through the filing of Articles of Organization Limited Liability Company with the Louisiana Secretary of State. The filing fee is $100, with the option of paying an extra $30 for 24-hour processing or $50 for 2-4 hour processing. Payment can be made by credit card, check, or money order.

LLCs based in the following parishes must file the articles online:

  • Ascension
  • Bossier
  • Caddo
  • Calcasieu
  • East Baton Rouge
  • Jefferson
  • Lafayette
  • Livingston
  • Orleans
  • Ouachita
  • Rapides
  • St. Tammany
  • Tangipahoa
  • Terrebonne

LLC’s based in parishes not included in the above list also have the option of filing the articles through the mail. If your Articles of Organization are filed by mail, you must include an Initial Report.

Your Louisiana LLC’s Articles of Organization must provide the following information:

  • LLC name
  • LLC principal office street address
  • LLC’s purpose
  • Registered agent’s name and address (online only)
  • Preferred tax treatment (sole proprietor, corporation, or partnership) (online only)
  • Whether the LLC is member or manager-managed (online only)
  • LLC members and/or managers’ names and street addresses (online only)
  • LLC business description (online only)
  • Federal EIN (online only)
  • One member, manager, or organizer’s e-signature (online) or organizers’ signatures (by mail)

4. Create an operating agreement

Although not a legally mandated step for forming an LLC in Louisiana, drafting a comprehensive LLC operating agreement is strongly recommended for all nascent limited liability companies.

The operating agreement should do the following:

  1. Describe the LLC’s business structure
  2. Establish the individual responsibilities and obligations of LLC members
  3. Detail how the LLC will be run

Without an operating agreement clarifying the specific duties of its members, an LLC may face significant legal and operational difficulties.

5. Obtain an IRS Employer Identification Number (EIN) 

All newly formed LLCs in the United States must acquire an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (with the exception of single-member LLCs). The nine-digit EIN is like a social security number for a business and is necessary to pay income tax, file tax returns, open business bank accounts, and perform many other important functions.

You can apply for an EIN online on the IRS website without paying a filing fee.

6. Fulfill your legal obligations

Once an LLC is registered, its members must devote attention to fulfilling legal requirements that apply for the duration of the company’s existence.

File Annual Reports

All LLCs doing business in Louisiana are required to file an Annual Report with the Secretary of State every year. The report is due every year by the anniversary of the LLC’s legal organization in Louisiana.

Annual reports must be filed online. The filing fee is $30.

Obtain business licenses and/or permits

An LLC doing business in Louisiana may be required to obtain one or more state or locally-issued business licenses, permits, or certifications depending on the nature of its business and its location.

Visit the Secretary of State’s Geauxbiz website for information on state licensing requirements, and contact a clerk or local government representative in the city or parish where your LLC is based for information on fulfilling local licensing requirements.

Understand state taxes

Many business owners worry about paying business taxes. After all, with a business, filing looks a lot different than personal taxes, right? While there are additional tax codes and rules to follow, LLCs are taxed as pass-through entities. A pass-through entity passes income from the business to the individual, so income is reported on personal tax reports, and taxes are assessed accordingly.

Each state has its own tax brackets and rates. Small business owners should be aware of the following tax rates:

  • Louisiana has a 4.45% state sales tax rate.
  • Louisiana has a max local sales tax rate of 7%, and an average combined state and local sales tax rate of 9.55%.

You can crunch the numbers yourself or use a DIY tax filing system or reach out to a licensed accountant.

Register with the Louisiana Department of Revenue

Certain LLCs active in Louisiana must register with the Louisiana Department of Revenue to comply with state tax requirements. This includes LLCs that collect sales tax and those with employees.

You can register with the Louisana DOR online or by submitting a completed paper copy of Form R-16019.

File BOI Report

All new LLCs must file a BOI Report within 90 days of being established. The BOI Report, which stands for Beneficial Ownership Information Report, is a new report required as a result of legislation put into action in 2024.

The report asks companies to provide thorough contact information for each owner or controlling member with the intent of helping authorities limit financial crimes like money laundering.

You’ll file the report online through the Financial Crime Enforcement Network.

Learn more about BOI reporting.

LegalZoom can help you file a compliant and stress-free BOI Report for only $149.

FAQs

What is needed to form an LLC in Louisiana?

With this type of business, you need an idea and $100 to file Articles of Organization, which are business formation documents, with the state. You’ll also need to obtain business licenses.

Who can be a registered agent?

Any adult with a physical address (not a P.O. box) in the state can be a registered agent. The agent must also be willing and available to accept official documents during regular business hours.

Is it common for an owner to serve as a registered agent?

Yes. Business owners often serve as their own registered agent.

Do I need an operating agreement for my LLC?

You should have an operating agreement for your LLC, but it’s not required. You aren’t asked to file the agreement with the state.

How do you write an operating agreement for Louisiana?

You can find templates online that you can customize. Operating agreements aren’t necessarily state-specific; they’re company-specific.

When is the Louisiana Annual Report due?

Annual Reports are due during a company’s anniversary month. If a business was established in March of 2018, the Annual Report is due every year by the end of March.

How long does it take for an LLC to be approved?

Louisiana gives owners the option to pay for expedited reviews. For example, you can pay $50 to have it processed within two to four hours. If you don’t want to pay the additional fee, the approval process can take up to five days.

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how to start an llc step by step infographic

Post LLC tasks

Open business bank accounts

Open a business checking account to funnel all business income and expenses through a dedicated business account. Even if you’ve already collected some money through sales, once you’re an LLC, it’s the perfect time to set up business accounts and start healthy financial habits. Moving forward, you’ll keep your business finances and personal finances separate.

While there are many reasons to keep your finances apart, here are the most important reasons:

  • Establish your company’s financial history
  • Keep clean records that let you check on your financial health quickly
  • Streamline your tax reporting

Rather than heading to your local credit union or neighborhood branch, review the options. Financial institutions offer far more than a free checking account and online bill pay. With the right bank, you can send invoices and integrate your accounts with software you already use, like PayPal or QuickBooks.

If you’re unsure where to start, consider these banks: Found, Relay, and Mercury.

Launch a website

You need a business website, no matter what product or service you sell. While you may not have website design or coding experience, you can use DIY platforms that make it possible for anyone to create and launch a business site.

To get started, follow these steps:

  1. Search domain name availability.
  2. Purchase a domain name.
  3. Sign up for web hosting.
  4. Pick a web builder like Domain.com or GoDaddy to produce a business site.
  5. Tailor your site to your customers and add relevant pages.
  6. If you’re selling goods, add an e-commerce section to your site.
  7. Review, test, and publish your site.

Costs to set up an LLC in Louisiana

You’ll need funding to start a business. While some businesses cost less than others to start, every business has expenses. While you should quantify your ongoing expenses, it’s important to know how much it costs to establish a business. Your initial costs will include:

  • Incorporation fees: In Louisiana, to establish an LLC, you must register it with the state. To do so, state law requires you to file LLC formation paperwork known as Articles of Organization. When you file these documents, you’re charged a state fee of $100.
  • Annual Report filing fee: LLC owners are required to file an Annual Report with the state. Each year, you’re charged a filing fee of $30 during submission.
  • Registered agent services (optional): When you establish an LLC, you must list a registered agent who will accept official documents on behalf of your company. While you can name yourself, some entrepreneurs decide to hire a registered agent service to fill the role. This optional fee hovers between $50 to $200 annually.

Foreign LLCs

An LLC formed outside of Louisiana intending to do business in the state must first register with the Louisiana Secretary of State.

Follow these steps to do business in Louisana as a foreign LLC:

  1. Comply with Louisiana LLC naming guidelines and confirm that your name is available for use in the state by checking the Louisiana Secretary of State’s Search for Louisiana Business Filings tool.
  2. Appoint a Louisiana registered agent.
  3. File an Application of Foreign Limited Liability Company with the Louisiana Secretary of State. Filing can be done online or through the mail (unless your LLC intends to do business in one of the parishes in the list in the above section where online filing is required) The filing fee is $150.
    • When filing the application, you must include a Certificate of Good Standing from the LLC’s home state. The certificate must be dated within 90 days of its filing with the Secretary of State.

FAQs

What is needed to form an LLC in Louisiana?

With this type of business, you need an idea and $100 to file Articles of Organization, which are business formation documents, with the state. You’ll also need to obtain business licenses.

Who can be a registered agent?

Any adult with a physical address (not a P.O. box) in the state can be a registered agent. The agent must also be willing and available to accept official documents during regular business hours.

Is it common for an owner to serve as a registered agent?

Yes. Business owners often serve as their own registered agent.

Do I need an operating agreement for my LLC?

You should have an operating agreement for your LLC, but it’s not required. You aren’t asked to file the agreement with the state.

How do you write an operating agreement for Louisiana?

You can find templates online that you can customize. Operating agreements aren’t necessarily state-specific; they’re company-specific.

When is the Louisiana Annual Report due?

Annual Reports are due during a company’s anniversary month. If a business was established in March of 2018, the Annual Report is due every year by the end of March.

How long does it take for an LLC to be approved?

Louisiana gives owners the option to pay for expedited reviews. For example, you can pay $50 to have it processed within two to four hours. If you don’t want to pay the additional fee, the approval process can take up to five days.

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